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Day: September 9, 2016

All You Need to Know About the 6 Types of Internet

As fiber-optic internet grows in popularity, you may be reconsidering the internet options available to you. Internet providers vary depending on your location, and it’s likely that you have one to two Internet Service Provider (ISP) options. Take a look at the different ISPs available in your area, and keep reading to find out which type of internet is best for your needs.

  1. Dial-Up

You may not hear much about dial-up anymore, but it’s still a viable internet option—AOL currently has over two million dial-up customers. Dial-up transmits the internet signal through phone lines, which makes it one of the only internet types available in rural areas. Though dial-up generally offers a slow internet connection, it is often a very affordable choice.

  1. DSL

DSL uses copper telephone lines to transmit data, and speeds average 12 Mbps. Another benefit of DSL connections is that they are not shared with your neighbors, so you shouldn’t experience slow speeds at busy times. There are two types of DSL connection: ADSL, for people who require high download speeds but don’t do much uploading, and SDSL, which is often used by businesses that need high download and upload speeds.

  1. Satellite

Satellite internet is accessible to most consumers because it requires only a satellite dish at your location to communicate with a geostationary satellite orbiting Earth. Because the signal needs to travel such a long distance, satellite internet speeds can often be slow and subject to lagging, or latency.

  1. Cable

Cable internet is delivered through coaxial cables, which is why it is easy to pair with a cable television subscription. Speeds can reach up to 150 Mbps, but you may have to share a network cable with other subscribers in your area. This means your internet speeds may suffer during peak usage times.

  1. Fiber-Optic

Fiber-optic internet may seem like a thing of the future, but 25% of the United States can now access it. It is still not available everywhere, however, because of the high costs of installing fiber-optic cables. Data is transmitted through translucent glass fibers, which provide some of the fastest internet speeds currently available—often up to 1 Gbps. Your internet speed partially depends on how close the fiber-optic cables come to your location: fiber-to-the-home reaches directly to your premises and is faster than fiber-to-the-node, which reaches a central distribution point and relies on copper cables to deliver internet to homes from there.  

  1. Wireless

Wireless internet uses radio waves to transmit data from your ISP to an antenna at your location. This type of internet connection is not yet available everywhere, but it will likely prove to be very popular due to its versatility and speed—especially among rural customers who do not have many other ISP options, and among travelers who do not have fixed locations.

Choosing the ISP for You

There are a few factors that will impact your internet service decision. It’s important to know which types of service are available in your area, and what speeds they provide. If your household internet activity is low, you may be comfortable with DSL or satellite. However, if you frequently work online and send or receive large files, you may want to consider fiber-optic or wireless internet.

Cost is another important factor for many customers. You may want to ask if the ISP has data caps, additional fees, or charges extra to rent a modem or router. Make sure you know exactly what your plan includes before you agree to pay a monthly rate.

If you’re still having trouble deciding which option is best for you, ask local friends and family about their internet experiences and if they recommend a specific ISP. You can trust them to give you a good idea of what to expect from each service provider.

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Bringing tomorrow’s tech into your new home

Trying to build a home that won’t be a technological dinosaur in ten years certainly seems to be a challenge today.  Is this always going to be just a home?  Will there be an office in the home?  What will entertainment bring in the future? How do you plan for tomorrow while building now?

High speed internet

Bringing high speed internet into the home is now one of the highest priorities. Entertainment, home control, and home business are all becoming internet demanding.  Technology is shifting at the highest rate here.  Businesses at home or work from home opportunities will continue to expand.  Designing flexibility into how homes access and distribute data has to be a key thought.  Bringing business level internet into a home wasn’t a consideration just ten years ago, but now it is becoming a requirement.


Though power hasn’t changed much, nor will it, how it is used has.  Environmental concerns are driving power use to less pull on circuits. Lighting is shifting more and more to LED based, low current use. Less power is being used in areas of the house that used to be high use.  Designing for changing use and control of power is a part of being ready for technological change.

Creating connection hubs

In order for you to be ready to integrate the cost saving and convenience focused technologies that are coming, access to specific areas of your home has to be factored in from the beginning.  Creating hub points that go to multiple locations will be a necessity in order to provide flexibility in design.

The hubs provide connecting points for multiple rooms to tie into trunk lines or major circuits.  Getting power or cables to the hubs can be a challenge unless you design for changes.

Imagine looking at maps of Europe.  Major rail lines and roads tie together cities or hubs, providing easy transit to and from different cities.  What are the major lines in homes?

The rails and roads

In her article on future proofing your home, Pat Curry quotes David Pedigo, senior director of learning and emerging technology for CEDIA:

“The only one way to future proof a home is to pull conduit to certain parts of the home,” he says. “That way, if a new technology comes out in three to five years, you’re ready for it. I’ve taught that for a decade, and no one has ever challenged me. It’s a lot cheaper to pull the wire now than go back after the fact and reinstall it.”

Why he states that, points to the long term need for solid connectivity via hard wire.  Wireless systems in the home can only bear so much traffic before they become bogged down by demand.  Hard wired systems designed for reasonably easy modification will actually give you more flexibility and greater connectivity.  

The key

Flexibility is the key word used in responding to the technological changes coming.  If flexibility is one of the first thoughts in the design, bringing new technology into the home will be greatly simplified.

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